In today's fast-paced world, ecommerce automation is key to success. By automating your ecommerce store, you can save time and money while making your business operations run more smoothly. Ultimately, that means a better shopping experience for your customers.
What is ecommerce automation?
Ecommerce automation is the use of software to automate repetitive tasks involved in running an online store. This includes business processes such as product listing, inventory management, order processing, and customer service.
Automating these tasks frees up your time so you can focus on other aspects of your ecommerce business. It helps reduce human error. And it allows you to provide a better shopping experience for your customers by ensuring that their orders are processed quickly and efficiently.
9 ways to use ecommerce automation for your store
There are many ways ecommerce businesses can automate their stores. Consider where you're spending the most time and where you could save time with automated tasks.
1. Inventory management
An inventory management software can keep track of the inventory levels in your warehouses and reorder products automatically when they run low.
This will save you the bother of manually checking inventory levels and placing orders with suppliers.
Depending on the software you use, it can also intelligently track swells in demand due to seasonality. This means you'll get more accurate predictions on when you need to restock so you don't run out of products.
2. Product listing
If you're selling in multiple places, you can streamline product listing with a tool that automatically lists your products on multiple marketplace platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.
This will save you time and ensure that product details are accurate across platforms. That's fewer steps for you to increase brand exposure.
This is especially helpful alongside inventory management tools. An inventory management tool can communicate to a product listing tool that a product is out of stock and unlist it if appropriate. And then re-publish them when there's inventory available again.
3. Payment processing
Accepting payments online can be a bit of a hassle. But with automation, you can set up payment processing so that all payments are made seamlessly and without any fuss.
4. Fraud management
Fraud detection tools can flag and cancel orders with characteristics that appear fraudulent. This includes things like orders with billing and shipping addresses that don't match or orders from countries that you don't ship to.
Once a fraudulent order has shipped, you're unlikely to get that inventory back, and you'll lose the payment, too. So, a fraud detection tool can save your business money and headaches by catching and canceling fraudulent orders before they're processed.
5. Order processing
Use order processing tools to automate the process of fulfilling orders from start to finish.
This includes tasks such as generating shipping labels, sending order details to your third-party logistics (3PL) vendor, tracking orders, and sending out automated emails to customers when their orders have shipped.
This helps to reduce shipping times and keeps your customers happy. Plus, customers will know the status of their order every step of the way, which builds trust and loyalty.
Some 3PLs will cover aspects of order processing, like generating shipping labels and updating inventory levels. So you'll want to see what's covered before adding new tools.
6. Customer support
There are different degrees of automation you can have for customer service. At a basic level, you can use a help desk that automatically flags urgent requests based on specific keywords or funnels conversations to the right person to respond.
More advanced automation can include chatbots that answer common questions from customers or even handle simple customer service tasks such as initiating a return or resetting a password.
Using a chatbot to field requests saves the customer support team time so they can handle more complex customer interactions. And if the chatbot can't resolve an inquiry, it can elevate the issue to a customer service rep to take over.
All in all, it means more customers get their issues resolved faster, and that's one less thing getting in the way of them purchasing or having a good experience with your brand.
7. Marketing automation
It can be easy to get bogged down in operational ecommerce automation. But nobody will benefit from the operational excellence you've achieved if you don't have your marketing efforts dialed in. Marketing automation tools are crucial to business success and can help you grow, convert, and retain your audience.
The world of marketing automation tools is vast. You can use marketing automation to save time on tasks like SMS and email marketing, social media campaigns, targeted ads, loyalty programs, requests for reviews, and more.
Check out the full guide to ecommerce marketing automation to learn more about this category.
8. Customer relationship management
To build great relationships with customers, you need to track all the information you have on them. Then you can use that data to have more effective customer service conversations and personalized marketing experiences.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system brings all your customer data into one place so you can get a full picture of your customers. This includes purchase history, contact information, support requests, and more.
The right automations can keep your customer data up-to-date and accurate for use across all your systems and tools.
Having this information all available in one place makes it easy to personalize the shopping experience for each customer and give them exactly what they need.
9. Task management
You may need to complete manual tasks as a result of other things happening in the business. For example, if a shopper leaves a negative review, you might want to follow up with them for a resolution.
You can automate creating and assigning a task to contact the customer in your task management system. Then that important outreach doesn't fall through the cracks.
How to find ecommerce automation tools
When looking for ecommerce automation tools, start with your ecommerce platform. Most of them come with built-in automations and ways to create custom workflows. And if they don't offer what you need, you'll find several software options in their app stores (or in Adobe Commerce, the extensions marketplace, and in WooCommerce, the extensions store) designed to work with that ecommerce platform.
But not all software your ecommerce platform will integrate with will show up in the apps or extensions store. So if you don't find a service that suits your needs, do some general research to find one that does and works with your ecommerce software.
You'll also want to ensure your automation tools integrate with other software you use (e.g., your product listing and inventory management systems or CRM and marketing tools). That way, you can create a cohesive ecosystem of tools that all work together to make your online business run more smoothly.
Some tools that don't integrate naturally can be connected using services like Zapier and IFTTT. These services allow you to create your own integrations through simple "if this, then that" rules. So you can connect and automate more tasks throughout the business.
Get started with ecommerce automation
As you can see, there are many ways that you can use ecommerce automation to improve your store. By automating your store, you can save time and money while providing a better shopping experience for your customers. In the end, you'll have increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The best ecommerce automation tools will integrate with all your other software to make business operations run smoothly.
No matter what software you're using, creating a great customer experience is essential across every touchpoint, from managing order logistics to building customer relationships through your marketing efforts.
Let Emotive help you bring your business together. Emotive's leading conversational text message marketing software lets you keep customers up-to-date on orders, run marketing campaigns, and respond to customer inquiries. It integrates across ecommerce platforms, customer services software, marketing tools, and more to create a cohesive customer experience.
Learn more and sign up for a demo.